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Shoppers at a Westfield on the Gold Coast were treated to a sight rarely seen in suburbia.
Amongst all the vehicles at the Coomera carpark was a beautiful and 'cute' little koala.
While there were loads of people who whipped out their phones and snapped a picture and got up close with the iconic Aussie creature, a wildlife expert says it's actually a heartbreaking reality.
WildCare's Amy Wregg was called out to the scene to rescue the koala and said they eventually found him in a nearby tree.
She's told Yahoo Australia: "We had a bit of an entourage filming us at some point, because they thought it was quite entertaining that there was a koala at a shopping centre. He was very stressed and very vocal which isn't the most pleasant sounding noise.
"It probably took us about an hour to get him down, because we had to keep giving him breaks because he was so stressed.
"Everyone sees a koala and thinks: 'It's cute, it's cute. It's not cute'. It's not. With this one because of his age, he needs to go back to his habitat, but where does he go?
"I'm just worried that wherever I release him he's going to get pushed out again. At what point to they say enough is enough?"
Amy explained how the koala will be very difficult to relocate because he is 10 years old.
He's being treated at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for a chlamydia infection, but there are concerns about what happens to him once he's back to full health.
It also highlights how koala habitats are slowly being eroded by urban sprawl. Ms Wregg said this is the third incident involving a koala at the Coomera Westfield carpark.
Australian experts have warned koalas could be driven to extinction if systems aren't put in place now.
A parliamentary inquiry report released last year said: "Given the scale of loss as a result of the fires to many significant local populations, the committee believes the koala will become extinct in New South Wales well before 2050 and that urgent government intervention is required to protect their habitat and address all other threats to their ongoing survival."
The Black Summer bushfires affected on average around 24 per cent of koala habitat, however it was as bad as 81 per cent in some areas.
But the places these beautiful animals call home have been under threat well before the Black Summer bushfires took hold.
Climate change and deforestation have gravely affected their ability to live and breed and a state inquiry is calling for action now to protect them.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter
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